Wizards-Grizzlies Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 01, 2013
The Memphis Grizzlies' first game without Rudy Gay was hardly one to remember, but they might have a better chance to win in their next one. While hoping the new players from this week's trade can get on the court soon, Memphis will try to earn its eighth consecutive home win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. The Grizzlies (29-16) had only nine players available in Thursday's 106-89 loss at Oklahoma City after sending leading scorer Gay and reserve center Hamed Haddadi to Toronto the previous day. Memphis got Ed Davis from the Raptors as well as Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit in that deal, but it's still waiting for those players to arrive and pass their physicals. That means Grizzlies fans could have to wait until Tuesday's home game against Phoenix before they see the team's newest additions. Memphis also dealt three players to Cleveland on Jan. 22 for Jon Leuer and didn't have Quincy Pondexter available on Thursday due to a knee injury. "It's a business. We have no control over it," guard Mike Conley said. "We can only control what we do on the court and we just have to be excited for the guys coming in that are going to help us try to achieve our goals." Memphis didn't help itself Thursday by shooting 34.7 percent, its second-worst performance of the season. Zach Randolph missed his first 10 shots and finished with nine points on a 4-of-17 night. The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 26 points in the third quarter before closing the gap. Jerryd Bayless was one of the few bright spots with a season-high 23 points, his second straight game with more than 20. "The first half, we were a little flat, a little shell-shocked," coach Lionel Hollins said. "Everybody was trying to do too much. You had guys who just didn't make any shots in the first half. But the second half, we played our game." Bayless will try to provide another such performance in Memphis' first home game without Gay, who was averaging 17.2 points. After facing one of the league's top teams, the Grizzlies might have a better opportunity when they take on one of the worst. The Wizards (11-33) have lost back-to-back games after winning seven of 10 and shot 40.0 percent in a 92-84 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday, the opener of a three-game trip. A wrist injury to rookie Bradley Beal, who is averaging 13.2 points, didn't help and neither did a third straight single-digit scoring performance for Jordan Crawford. The third-year guard, averaging 14.1 points, had just three on 1-of-5 shooting for his worst showing in eight games since returning from an ankle injury. John Wall, tied for the team scoring lead with Crawford, finished with only nine points while missing nine of 12 shots. "You are going to have nights like this," coach Randy Wittman said. "Their defense played real good. But you still have to get shot attempts. We had some crucial turnovers. We battled. We kept in it." Wall had 25 points and Crawford scored 22 in last season's lone matchup with Memphis on March 18, but the Grizzlies earned a 97-92 win behind Gay's 27 points. Memphis has won six of the last seven meetings with Washington and hasn't lost a home matchup since Nov. 3, 2004.
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